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Most pets need light grooming between visits to a professional, but dogs often need more attention than others. If you have a dog, pamper your pooch with these five do-it-yourself grooming tips from Petco:

Gather supplies. Before getting started, make sure all the correct tools are on hand. Pet parents should have dog shampoo, a towel, conditioner, a brush and treats. Don’t substitute, especially dog shampoos and conditioners–these are specially formulated to release loose hair and undercoat while they clean.

Do a pre-bath brush. Brush your dog to loosen and remove the undercoat. Before brushing for the first time, let the dog sniff the brush to get acclimated, and give plenty of treats during the process so the pooch equates it with a positive experience. Use a de-shedding tool for dogs with a heavy coat; dogs with shorter coats do better with a simple slicker brush or rubber curry brush.

Bathe like a baby. Always test the water before letting your dog in the bath–lukewarm is best. Avoid agitating your pooch by beginning at the back end and working toward the head. Lather up and rinse thoroughly. You’ll know your dog is soap-free when the pooch’s skin feels slick and makes a slipping noise.

Dry, dry, dry. Towel off your dog until most of the moisture has been removed, and use a hairdryer to finish–warm or cool setting only! Again, begin at the back and work forward so your dog adjusts calmly to the noise. It’s also helpful to spray on a hydrating mist during the drying process to moisturize the skin and coat.

Let him or her loose. Brush through the coat one last time to remove any excess hair and add shine, and trim your dog’s nails. You can use human nail clippers for pint-sized pals, but invest in dog clippers for larger breeds.

When you find yourself between grooming visits, follow these steps to give your dog some much-deserved TLC!

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